Area athletes named to All-Star team

Published 12:03 am Thursday, December 1, 2011

NATCHEZ — Tensas Academy’s Farrel Keahey and his teammates accomplished their ultimate goal this season when they captured the MAIS Eight-man Football State Championship.

“That was one of the greatest feelings in the world, and I’m sure all my teammates could vouch for that,” Keahey said.

Soon after the title, Keahey’s season got even sweeter when he was chosen to be a member of the MAIS South State All-Star Team, which will face the North squad at 4 p.m. Friday at Mississippi College.

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“I was really proud and pretty grateful they chose me,” he said. “Only four players out of eight-man get to go. It’s pretty exciting.”

Keahey said the combination of the championship and the post-season recognition made his senior season special.

“It’s pretty much been everything I could possibly ask for out of myself,” he said. “I’m just glad I got elected. I’m proud of it.”

Keahey, who played several different positions for Tensas, will play safety for the South All-Stars. He said he has already made some new friends since practice started Tuesday, and he expects the South squad to be very competitive.

“Of course the south is going to win,” he said. “It’s probably going to be a knock-down-drag-out. They got some big boys, and we got speed.”

Joining Keahey on the South squad will be players from Centreville Academy, Trinity Academy and Wilkinson County Christian Academy.

Tip McKenzie and Chance Fenn will represent Trinity, and head coach David King said he is proud of the accomplishments of both players.

“I’ve had Chance since he was younger, and he have been an overachiever since he’s been here,” King said. “He practiced and played hard every snap of his career. He was a big part of two state titles and this successful season.”

King said McKenzie’s athletic ability is what set him apart.

“Tip, I only had for two years, but he’s as good an athlete as I’ve coached,” King said. “And he was a good team player. He shared the ball well. He might not have got the ball as much as he should, and he never said a word.”

Centreville Academy had three players selected to the team this year. Cliff Hurst, Michael Pate and Tyler Towles will all represent the Tigers in the All-Star game Friday.

Centreville assistant coach Brian Stutzman said being selected to the team is something the three players should be proud of and enjoy.

“It’s a big honor,” Stutzman said. “We talked to them today, and they are having a good time and getting to mingle with kids they’ve been playing against all year.”

Towles played quarterback and defensive back for the Tigers this season, and Stutzman said Towles’ athletic ability and toughness made him a special player.

Hurst played middle linebacker and some quarterback as well as punter and kicker for the Tigers.

Pate was a defensive tackle, offensive guard, fullback and long snapper, and Stutzman said Pate was one of the hardest hitters in the state.

Centreville’s younger players will benefit from seeing Hurst, Pate and Towles participate in the All-Star game, Stutzman said.

“They younger kids look up to them and want to work hard to have a winning season and be able to make an all-star team,” he said.

WCCA had its best season in decades in 2011, and the Rams will send two players to represent them in the all-star game.

Tramel McKinsey, who led the Rams this season in rushing, and Trenton Hall, who served as WCCA’s tight end and racked up more than 100 tackles on defense, will both be playing in the game.

“I just think it’s a great accomplishment for both guys,” WCCA head coach Ray McDaniel said. “They worked hard all summer and through the long season and making the all-star team is the cherry on the top.”

McDaniel will also get to participate in the game himself, as an assistant coach. He said that so far practice is going well, and he is glad he gets to coach McKinsey and Hall one more time.

“It’s been fun here,” he said. “Now I get to see their last game.”